Novartis agrees to pay $729 Million U.S. settlement over kickbacks
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG (NVS) has agreed to pay more than $729 Million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of paying illegal kickbacks to doctors and patients to increase drug sales, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
The Swiss drugmaker would pay $678 Million to resolve accusations of hosting thousands of speaker programs and events to bribe physicians. The U.S. Department of Justice said that several doctors were paid to write thousands of prescriptions for cardiovascular and diabetes drugs from Novartis.
“Novartis paid exorbitant speaker fees to doctors who gave no meaningful presentations and provided expensive meals and alcohol to doctor attendees and their guests,” federal prosecutors in Manhattan said in a statement.
Novartis shares rose by less than 1% to 83.26 Swiss Francs in Zurich trading on Thursday morning.
“Through this settlement and others, the government has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that drug companies do not use kickbacks to influence the drugs prescribed by doctors or purchased by patients,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt stated.